Orthodox Christians in Seychelles celebrate Christmas

While the rest of the country is recovering from the seasonal festivities, the Orthodox Christians in Seychelles celebrated their Christmas with a Holy Liturgy held at the Berjaya Bay Resort yesterday.

The delay in celebrations is caused by the fact that the Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar, instead of the widely used Gregory calendar which other Christian churches have adopted.

Because of this, Catholics and other Christian denominations celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25 while the Orthodox followers observe the occasion some 13 days later, usually on January 7.

Henceforth a handful of Orthodox Christians gathered for the Christmas mass conducted by Father Sergios Janosevic, the general vicar of the Orthodox Christian parish in Seychelles.

One of the highlights of the mass was the recital of the Christmas message of the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodoros the Second.

In his message, His Beatitude reminded Christians of the love of God and which they can emulate in order to bring peace to the world.

“The eternal Lord is born to take the world out of its impasse,” the message read. “A world which, thus far, does not seem to have heard either the Angelic hymn nor the message of ‘peace from the above’. Wars, global and civil conflicts, civil wars, terrorism, refugees, uprooting face us on a daily basis.”

In light of these atrocities, the Pope called for humans to open their hearts, “keeping them warm and pure so that Jesus may be born in them”.

Meanwhile Father Sergios commented that we should never forget those who are suffering and we can make a difference in their lives, small as these may be, such as through visiting ailing patients, the elderly, orphans or giving a helping hand to those in need as well as through prayers.

“We are all very joyful and happy because Jesus is born today which is our salvation,” Father Sergios concluded.

There are over 100 Orthodox Christians in Seychelles, most of which originally hail from Eastern European countries such as Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.  The church also includes several Seychellois Orthodox devouts.

Source: Seychelles Nation